If you have problems with aches, pains, joint stiffness or sports injury, The Core Program by physical therapist Peggy Brill may be able to help. She has a great understanding of the female body and the demands that are regularly placed upon it.
She says this:
“The Core Program derives from my experience of treating thousands of women for the most frequent aches and pains they experience in their heads, necks, shoulders, arms, backs and legs. I noticed that no matter where they were feeling discomfort, all of their problems seemed to relate to underdeveloped and unbalanced muscle groups in one area of the body — the core.”
For Peggy Brill, the “core” is the torso, from the base of the neck to the bottom of the spine and includes the abs and all the back and hip muscles. Your entire body is dependent upon the core. If your core is weak or unbalanced, the rest of your body cannot work at its optimum level. The stronger the core, the better the body works. Brill says, “After treating thousands of patients, I can confidently say that there is a recognizable pattern of muscle weakness and tightness that leads to almost all of the common injuries I see.”
This program will show you how to work with your body instead of against it. Muscles work in pairs, and work either by pulling (shortening) or elongating. However, often one of the muscles in the pair becomes dominant and they no longer work in harmony. The joint they are attached to begins to suffer and injury, aches and pains occur.
For instance, if you slouch, over time, the muscles in your chest will shorten and become dominant. The other muscles of this pair, the upper back muscles, will lengthen or stretch. Now it is out of balance. When you want to push open a heavy door or do some other difficult motion, the chest muscles will kick in before the the back muscles, creating a strain on the shoulder joint — it becomes easy for a shoulder injury to occur. According to Brill, so much of joint stiffness and pain is because of these kinds of imbalances.
This program will rebalance the muscle pairs so that the strain on the joints is minimized. It will lengthen overly short muscles and shorten the overly long ones, bringing balance to the body. Once you learn the program, it only takes 15 minutes a day, 5 days a week. It can be used on its own or added to another workout regimen. Grandmothers, surgery patients and athletes have all reported a huge improvement from this program.
After I had done these exercises just a few times, I could already tell my joints were more fluid, and I felt more balanced. I had some joint pain that was relieved and I just felt better. I felt more able to do my other workouts with better form and less fatigue.
There are a couple um, odd exercises involving the face. If you are creeped out by them, just skip them (don’t tell Peggy I said that). Otherwise, I recommend doing them in a very dark room with the door locked. All the rest of the exercises are similar to something you might see in yoga, but she goes into great detail about proper form so that you can isolate the muscle groups properly. There is also a self-test to evaluate which muscle groups are out of balance in your body and to what degree. After you have done the exercises for a few weeks, you can go back and retest to see how much progress you have made.
Here is the back of the book. (If you click the picture, it should open a bigger, more readable one):